Games snobs, stop hating on Call of Duty

Freddie Sehgal Cuthbert

Topics Culture

Today, the games industry will celebrate and bemoan, in equal measure, the annual release of the latest Call Of Duty – or COD, as it is commonly known. This year’s model, Ghosts, is tenth in the series. The COD series has sold well, at over 120million, which puts it only slightly behind such greats as the Grand Theft Auto series. Like GTA, COD is controversial, but unlike GTA the cognoscenti of video games are not inclined to mount a defence of it.

COD has a huge loyal fanbase, but it also has an equally fervent opposition from the holier-than-thou elite of video gaming. If you venture near any relevant forum or YouTube comment section, you will find a lot of people moaning at the volume of first-person shooters (of which COD is the leader of the pack, and, admittedly, sometimes a caricature of the genre).

COD, as far as these commentators are concerned, is for the unintelligent masses, obviously too caught up in the violent mayhem to realise what a ‘real game’ is. Even a COD developer has gone so far as to say that devoted COD players aren’t ‘hardcore gamers’.

Game Informer recently published a piece which inadvertently summed up how COD gamers are looked upon with disdain. The article poked fun at COD players, caricaturing them as the annoying kid that always sings incessantly throughout the game, or the lone wolf with a complete disregard for the rest of humanity.

There is a bucketload of cultural snobbery here, much like Guardian types looking down on Sun readers. The snobs who join online discussions about how ‘first-person shooters are overrated’ enjoy nothing more than finding a COD-lover who has made a spelling mistake. As if that proves anything! But they seem to think it’s absolute proof of toys for stupid boys.

But maybe we should judge the game not by its alleged players, but by its content. The game is renowned worldwide for having the most compelling multiplayer modes, such as ‘Demolition’ and the classic ‘Team Deathmatch’. The multiplayer has had years spent on it, rounding it out to near perfection. The ‘Zombies’ mode is engrossing and it provides admirable attempts at variation when the format does not easily allow it. The ‘Campaign’ is more forgettable, but still worth playing once though, for all its predictably huge explosions and carnage.

The game is nowhere near as bad as the gaming snobs would have us believe.

Freddie Sehgal Cuthbert is spiked‘s games reviewer.

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Topics Culture


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